being human

Travel is Good for the Soul

I wrote about lightening the load before I left for California last week. I feel the truth of it more deeply upon my return. Packing only a large backpack for a five day trip, I still took too much.

I was a little fearful of a new place, a big unfamiliar city many states away. It feels silly now. Sure, being cautious is a good thing, awareness is necessary when traveling, but I made more up in my mind about how it would or could be than how it actually was.

There were several surreal moments as we were traveling along Highway 1. My eyes pooled with tears that matched the saltiness of the ocean I was driving alongside. I was fully in those moments; I’d dreamed of a trip like this most of my life — the pristine beauty of the Pacific, the cliffs, the waves, the mountains, the wind in my hair on the open road. I felt at home 2500+ miles from the place I normally lay my head.

While I long for quiet and reflection in daily life, I had little of it during this trip. We were travelers, sightseers, tourists, taking it all in.  I also barely wrote while I was gone, something necessary to my every day. There simply wasn’t time but it was okay. I was being transformed. I am different today.

Trips are a lot like yoga for me. I’m in the moment for each, but the lessons rarely present themselves until returning to everyday life.

The teacher is freedom and my need for it.

The teacher is that I need to let go of the rigid perfectionist self I am in normal every day life.

The teacher is that I need to take trips, even small ones, to remind me of who I really am when I’m not trying to control everything.

The teacher is to go with the flow, to explore, to remember who I am when I’m not projecting an imagined truth about who I think I’m supposed to be.

Every place we go becomes a small part of who we are. I always expect people to be different and am pleasantly surprised when they’re not, when I fit right in wherever I am.

Each time I return home, I long to leave again. The lesson is to let the experience live in me on my return, to also be here fully, and to not wait so long in between.